Friday, 29 April 2011

Very merry we were

It rather pains me to admit that I’ve had a pretty splendid day, which is a direct consequence of the Royal Wedding. London has been a magical, magical place.

I went to Philippa’s at about 9.30 in the morning, and we sat and watched the footage on the big screen in her sitting room. I think we all made the decision to sort of throw caution to the wind, and simply enjoy and even invest in the spectacle. We found ourselves looking forward to seeing the dress, and then discussing how beautiful it looked. At one point Moira started taking pictures of the screen in an attempt to catch an image of Catherine in the coach making her way to Westminster Abbey. After about the ninth shot, she turned to me and said; “I don’t recognise the person I’ve become...”

I think the most charming aspect of the day was going out onto Columbia Road and seeing a street party in full swing. Love or hate the royal family, it’s a very beautiful thing to see an entire community meeting one another, sharing food, smiling, dancing and singing. It was actually really very moving. There were trestle tables and strips of bunting. People had dressed up. Everyone was taking photographs. Everything looked utterly timeless; even the way people were dressed. We could have been in the 1950s. The sun was shining, there were silly dogs dressed in little suits, people sitting on cushions on the pavements and everyone seemed relaxed and happy. The cynic in me stayed very firmly inside...
We walked from Columbia Road to Broadway Market, to attend Sophie’s Bridal Olympics, which seemed to involve a lot of women in wedding dresses doing egg and spoon races. I took some time out to visit London Fields with little Deia; the first extended period of time I’ve spent with her on my own... I felt very privileged that she trusted me enough to hang out with me, and she was wonderful company. We went on the swings and down a slide together. I very much enjoyed the fact that everyone assumed she was my daughter – but what a responsibility it is to have children! Every time she ran off to another corner of the playground, my heart skipped a beat.

I ended the day back at Philippa and Dylan’s with a delicious pasta dinner made from a fridge full of odds and ends. Nathan called a few times from New York to say hello. He’s been hanging out with Mike McShane and Sharon is taking a new set of head shots for him down in the West Village, probably as I'm writing this. Thank God today’s been so perfect, else I’d feel incredibly envious!

April 29th, 1661, and Pepys found out that he was going to be sent to Portsmouth, which meant he needed to spend the day organising things for his imminent departure, which included giving his workmen detailed instructions about what to do in the house whilst he was away. In the evening, he was invited to a “collacion” at Mrs. Turner’s house, which went on until midnight. Pepys was thrilled to announce that there was a gentlewoman there who played the harpsicon and sang beautifully, “very merry we were.” As we were...

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